This week President Trump quietly tried to persuade Republicans to let him raise the gas tax by $0.25 per gallon.
Right now, the federal gas tax is $0.184 per gallon, and $0.244 per gallon of diesel and it hasn’t been raised since 1993.
But, Republicans as well as Democrats are reportedly digging in their heels over the gas tax. Just like their constituents, they want to see the specifics on whether the gas tax really will be put into infrastructure spending first.
Trump Holds Closed Meeting Wednesday With Senators
Democrat Sen. Thomas R. Carper from Delaware said of the closed-door meeting:
“To my surprise, President Trump, today in our meeting, offered his support for raising the gas and diesel tax by 25 cents a gallon and dedicating that money to improve our roads, highways and bridges.”
The Senator supports the gas tax and said that Trump kept pushing the increase during the meeting, but Republicans didn’t seem to be biting. Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas told media last month that he had “complete confidence” that the gas tax won’t be raised, and now Trump’s infrastructure plan threatens to throw egg in his face.
Gas And Diesel Taxes Highest in Pennsylvania
For reference, here’s a chart showing the gasoline and diesel taxes by state. Pennsylvania, at $0.582 per gallon has by far the highest amount of added tax while Alaska has the lowest.
Consumers in California will soon be hard hit by state level gas taxes, which jumped up 12 cents in October 2017 and will be raised by another 20 cents in June in addition to further sales tax and district taxes. Los Angeles probably has the worst traffic in the world, and the new state taxes that have been collected since autumn are reportedly already being poured into new repairs… but not before lawmakers voted to give themselves free gas and new cars.
New Tax Meant To Repair Roads
According to the LA Times, Trump’s new gas tax plan was first announced in the form of an extra $200 billion in federal funding for roads and bridges. But, the money will only be given out if the states are able to “provide substantial matching funds.”
In December, Trump signed into law the Tax Cut and Reform Bill that was designed to pass major savings on to families and corporations, who have already been celebrating the higher wages on their pay stubs.
Another Republican attending the meeting, Sen. John Barrasso from Wyoming called the gas-tax a “nonstarter” despite his participation in a Senate committee on infrastructure.
“I oppose raising the federal gas tax. Not everyone who uses the roads today pays the tax, and not all the money collected goes towards fixing America’s aging roads and bridges.”
And that, I think, is where Trump will find his middle ground. Trump, the business man, the artist of the deal, will find a way to please these very real concerns.
Trump’s Negotiation Tactic
First off, it’s a miracle that a man with construction knowledge is in the White House. Trump, more than most of the sitting Representatives and Senators knows that not all roads are equal and that the paving process in a state that experiences frost is widely different from a sunny state like Florida that only experiences a freeze once ever few years. Understanding that an equal amount of money won’t pave an equal length of road depending on its location is a great place for Trump to start, and the idea to give matching federal funds taking from an across-the-board tax will have to be revised if he wants all states to experience a reasonably similar benefit.
Personally, I hope that this infrastructure deal goes hand-in-hand with Trump’s pledge to knock down regulations. The tender process for providing services to the government is atrocious and crooked, and by focusing on roads and bridges Trump can also shine a light on the money poured down the drain in the name of procurement.
It’s likely that The Don will make a few offers to please the states and the citizens. The citizens will want to know more details about how the tax will benefit their counties, and the senators will want to know how they can take this tax back to their voters without being slaughtered.
What Citizens Deserve In Exchange
Here at Joe For America (dedicated Trump supporters since back when liberals would laugh in your face for saying so), we already have a good way to resolve the tax hike. Yes, you can have it. But, the taxes must have an expiry date and all of the collected funds must go directly to necessary infrastructure. No tricks, no deception, just construction.
Sources: LA Times, Washington Post, Wikipedia